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YEI - 4 Nov 2021

Yei boda-boda leaders released after 24-hour detention

Boda-boda rider in Yei town. [Photo: Radio Tamazuj]
Boda-boda rider in Yei town. [Photo: Radio Tamazuj]

Two leaders of the Boda-Boda (motorcycle taxis) Association in Yei town of South Sudan's Central Equatoria State were set free on Monday afternoon after spending a whole day in police custody.

The two riders were detained following a sit-down strike by members of the Boda-boda association last week over what they described as 'high and unnecessary charges levied against the boda-boda riders by the Yei traffic police department.'

The police then accused the riders of disobeying traffic rules.

Emmanuel Duku, the chairperson of the association, said they were released without charges and were treated well while in custody. 

“They put us in detention because of the issues we raised and suspended boda-boda operations in the town last week. I want to say that yes we have been arrested, we have been treated well and I want to tell our boda-boda members and the community that we are safe. The issue was administrative and we have been released and we are now home,” he added.

Duku revealed that the association's leaders and the police have met and resolved to promote cordial working relations in the town. 

"We discussed and agreed that the charges on the number plates and other taxes to be cut off and as this is good for us as boda-boda association and the traffic police also agreed to implement those resolutions to reduce costs on the boda-boda riders,” he added. 

He urged the riders in the county to resume their business operations without any fear saying any issues that will arise will be addressed jointly. 

For his part, Yei’s chief inspector of police Brigadier General Sarbino Dominic confirmed the release and urged the riders to respect traffic and police regulations.

“We sat and discussed with them yesterday and released them. We told them to resume their work and we don’t want to hear that the police are mistreating you, this is an administrative issue that has been addressed by the traffic police," Brig. Gen. Dominic said. "You also need to pay your operation taxes to the government, and if there are challenges on getting your operations license, come to my office and report. Residents should not rely on rumors, the police are yours and they are here to work you.”

He assured the riders that of police commitment to working with them.